The Royal life may come off as one big joy ride, what with all the lavish perks and the borderline blinding opulent and shiny lifestyle that members of the Royal family lead. But here’s a fun fact, it is not easy being a Royal family member, something former American actress Meghan Markle (now) knows all too well. Markle, who is giving up her career in television and carefree American lifestyle to become a Royal bride this May, had to learn a few things before meeting the Queen, let alone becoming a part of her legacy.
It may not come as a surprise that Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch of the British Empire, has a few standards that need to be met and rules that have to be followed by everyone – family included. And that is probably why, before meeting the Monarch, Markle had to rehearse how to properly drink tea with the queen months before actually meeting her fiancé, Prince Harry’s grandmother, writes, Andrew Morton in a recent biography, Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, penned by him. Interestingly, Morton also wrote a biography of Princess Diana.
Morton goes into detail, describing the nuances of English tea drinking. For the uninitiated, here are a few pointers that the Suits star probably had to keep in mind when meeting with the Queen:
- Crook your finger when holding the teacup.
- To avoid the clinking of the teaspoon against the cup, use a back and forth motion, rather than a circular motion.
- Contrary to popular belief and practice, do not stick out the pinky finger while sipping tea.
- Sip from the cup at the same place every time, to avoid leaving lipstick marks all around the rim of the cup. Or just wear clear gloss.
- Sit up straight and spread out the napkin on your lap. Hold the cup by the handle and bring it up to your mouth — avoid leaning forward to drink.
These in addition to a whole list of others about napkin and cutlery placement. Read them all in this comprehensive tea drinking etiquette guide by Jo Bryant.
So, how did Markle fare? Prince Harry revealed in the couple’s first joint interview that over the hour-long meeting with the English Monarch, his fiancée managed to charm even the Queen’s beloved Corgis, which lovingly snuggles at Markle’s feet during the meeting.